This week (May 18-24) marks Mental Health Awareness Week and is more poignant than ever given the impact that the Coronavirus lockdown has had on many people's wellbeing. Throughout the week, ConnectSport will be highlighting programmes and activities across the Sport for Development sector.
The organisations behind Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity training have made the online course free until August 31st.
The course usually costs £18 and is aimed at helping coaches “gain the confidence to be able to support people experiencing mental health problems, and help them to thrive inside and outside of your sessions”.
However Mind Charity, 1st4Sport, Sport England and UK Coaching want to support the three million people involved in coaching across the UK during the Coronavirus pandemic.
A statement from Mind read: “We know that Covid-19 is impacting on the whole nation’s mental health.
“Through our ongoing partnership with Sport England, 1st4Sport and UK Coaching we are thrilled to announce this opportunity, which we hope will reach thousands of people and impact on the lives of millions.”
Anyone involved in coaching and community sport is being encouraged to share the information on social media, so their own members and supporters will complete the course and share it with others.
“We want to create a wave of kindness across the sport and physical activity sector so the sector is kinder to itself and everyone in it,” read the statement.
Mind will stage the second webinar of a series on Thursday 21st May (1130-1215).
The webinar will provide an introduction to mental health training available to the sport and physical activity sector. Book your place here.
During the week, Mind will also be working with its partner, English Football League (EFL), to produce a series of videos with players and managers, talking all things mental health and football.
The videos will be hosted by former footballer Scott Minto and fellow TV presenter Charlie Webster, and will be published on EFL social media channels each day during Mental Health Awareness Week.
Mind is one of 11 partners in the #21by21 campaign which aims to increase mental health awareness in sport and physical activity. The campaign partners have pledged to train 21,000 community sports coaches and volunteers in mental health first aid by 2021. To find out more visit 21by21.info.
Herts Sports Partnership, one of the 43 Active Partnerships across England, has offered 260 free places on the Mental Health Awareness in Sport and Physical Activity course, with a £10 donation going to the Herts Disability Sports Foundation for every sign up.
This has so far led to 215 people taking up the opportunity so far, and the Partnership is using Mental Health Awareness Week to sign up more people to the course.
Partnership director John O’Callaghan said: “We are seeking to embed greater awareness of mental health issues across the sport and physical activity sector, amongst both the paid and volunteer workforce and we believe that this course goes some way to achieving that. As such, I am delighted with the way the wider sector has embraced this initiative.”
Ros Cramp, the County Disability Sports Officer, was delighted to learn about the donation to Herts Disability Sports Foundation, a local charity which promotes the development of disability sport across the county.
Ros said: “With the support of the Herts Sports Partnership we have already reached over 300 people with our online sessions, and the number is going up every day.”
West of England Sport Trust is hosting a free one-hour webinar on Wednesday 10th June (1-2pm) entitled ‘Physical Activity For Good Mental Health’. It is targeted at employees at all levels in any organisation, and will explore how being physically active in and around the working day can help you maintain good mental wellbeing. To book your place click here.
What is your organisation doing to mark Mental Health Awareness Week? Let us know and we'll share it on this page and our Twitter account @ConnectSport.